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 Louis and Antoinette's personal relationship... 

How did Louis and Antoinette feel about each other?
They were friendly, but not much more. 45%  45%  [ 15 ]
They were in love with each other the whole time. 33%  33%  [ 11 ]
They were indifferent to each other and didn't see enough of each other anyway. 3%  3%  [ 1 ]
They were in love at one point and it tapered off... 15%  15%  [ 5 ]
They didn't like each other at all. 3%  3%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 33

 Louis and Antoinette's personal relationship... 
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It is possible that her physicians even recommended that she take a break from childbearing and build up her health and strength again for the sake of future offspring.


Indeed it's possible.
But even without such this opinion of her doctors, I think that Marie-Antoinette would have followed the same way. Her last pregnancy was very difficult for her, it was too much closer to the preceding one as you said. She understood well that she needed to recover.
And Louis XVI, who was very understanding with her, agreed I think.

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Tue Nov 07, 2006 10:17 pm
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Yes, Louis was a gentleman, a very considerate husband, who wanted his wife's health preserved.

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Tue Nov 07, 2006 10:25 pm
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As you said, a woman who throw her husband out of bed must have serious health or psychic problems, but I also think that a man must understand the problems of his wife and he has to understand her desires of rest and break in the relations in love...Louis XVI was this style of man...great :D

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Tue Nov 07, 2006 10:32 pm
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D'accord!! I am in total agreement!!! He was great!!!

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Tue Nov 07, 2006 10:34 pm
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I was looking for something else in my library and found again Octave Aubry's classical work The History of French Revolution. Perhaps you are familiar with it, I used to read it when little (!). I haven't really read it in years and noticed that it was really favourable to Louis XVI. Aubry writes about him very positively and gives understanding about his difficult position as a ruler and appreciate him as an honest and good-meaning man. It was a nice "surprise", although it is an old book.


Wed Nov 08, 2006 1:55 pm
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Sounds like a wonderful book, Aurora!

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Wed Nov 08, 2006 2:01 pm
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But I am sure that Marie-Antoinette did not want any more to have children after Sophie... I read it in several books but I will seek to find the historians who affirm it.

I also know this information for sure, Chou-Charles. Is it mentioned by Chalon ? By Bertière, maybe... ?

As far as I remember, Joseph II was even aware of this decision, and was angry because of these "modern ideas that women now have" or something.

It wouldn't be surprizing, for Antoinette did not want any more children even after Charles' birth. She wrote her brother that she "felt not well and did not know why". When she noticed that she was pregnant, she wrote to the princess de Hesse Darmstadt that it was "what she feared".

Actually, her friend Charlotte just died giving birth. Antoinette was afraid too. Before her death, Charlotte had terrible presentments, but Antoinette replied that another sister of theirs died while giving birth "because she had had several children". From these words, we can infer that Antoinette thought that having many children was dangerous.

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Wed Nov 08, 2006 4:16 pm
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Her health obviously was not good after Charles' birth and even more affected by Sophie's birth. We will never know how permanent a desire for a rest from childbearing would have been if so many terribly stressful things had not followed each other in such quick succession in her life.

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Wed Nov 08, 2006 4:59 pm
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Pimprenelle wrote

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I also know this information for sure, Chou-Charles. Is it mentioned by Chalon ? By Bertière, maybe... ?


I did not check yet all the sources that I have, but it is not Lever who mentions that. I'm not sure because it is necessary to fall on the good page, and I traversed her biography of 1991 very quickly :D .
But I think like you Pimprenelle that Chalon or Bertière spoke about it. Nolhac also I think...

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Wed Nov 08, 2006 5:34 pm
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I am reading Chalon right now and have not found anything yet about it but he does emphasize how Antoinette's pregnancy with Sophie and her delivery were all entwined with the diamond necklace scandal. I wonder if Sophie's heath was ruined by this stress and of course, the queen's.

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Wed Nov 08, 2006 6:00 pm
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I am reading in Chalon what a difficult time it was for her - the year 1786 - Louis-Joseph's health was failing, the baby Sophie was not thriving. Antoinette, aware of the horrible calumnies being spread about herself in the wake of the Diamond Necklace scandal, declared to Madame in September, "I want to die!" When Madame Campan brought her orange flower water for her nerves, she said, "No, do not love me, it is better to give me death!" She may have had post-partum depression. Or a nervous breakdown....Yes, she needed a rest from child-bearing....

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Wed Nov 08, 2006 6:07 pm
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Indeed Therese, the conclusion of the Diamond Necklace scandal, and the public release of Rohan really disappointed Marie-Antoinette who really hoped to leave as a winner of this scandal. The release of Rohan was a big disillusion for her, and starting from this time people started to really hate it. And morever Louis-Joseph started to be sick, the financial standing of France was catastrophic, the poor Marie-Antoinette had a serious fall of moral :?

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Wed Nov 08, 2006 6:15 pm
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Louis-Charles wrote:
Indeed Therese, the conclusion of the Diamond Necklace scandal, and the public release of Rohan really disappointed Marie-Antoinette who really hoped to leave as a winner of this scandal. The release of Rohan was a big disillusion for her, and starting from this time people started to really hate it. And morever Louis-Joseph started to be sick, the financial standing of France was catastrophic, the poor Marie-Antoinette had a serious fall of moral :?


Yes, indeed. I am reading on and Chalon relates how at Baby Sophie's death, the king, the queen and Madame Elisabeth withdrew to Trianon to mourn, Madame Elisabeth being a consoling influence. He also shows how the queen became more pious following Sophie's death; she gave orders that the fasts of the Church be more carefully observed at her table than previously. She began making public devotions and prayers with her household in the royal chapel. Desmond Seward relates this as well.

I read that Louis XVI sister's Clothilde and her husband the King of Sardinia, after many personal sorrows, decided to live as brother and sister, forsaking the marriage bed, for reasons of penance and devotion to God. I wonder if Louis and Antoinette made a similar decision. I have never read that they did, at least not as a sacrificial act of devotion, but now I wonder....

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Wed Nov 08, 2006 6:42 pm
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I my view, it is rather a matter of health, depression, stress and dislike for sex. According to Simone Bertiere, Antoinette never enjoyed it very much. Following the GdeC, she did the best she can to avoid intercourses, when she was ill, for instance, when she recovered from illness... as long as she could ! :wink:

Chalon may be one of the French writers who portraies Marie-Antoinette with so great a devotion. In his view, she is almost a saint ! The other authors generally say that she turned to religion later, and that Elisabeth's influence got important once in the temple, especially after the king's death.

I don't think that Marie Antoinette was as pious before as to make such a sacrifice to God. I rather tend to believe that neither of them liked sex... All biographers of Louis agree on this specific point, he was quite indifferent to carnal pleasures (except for the GdeC, who say that Antoinette tried to escape from her marital duty on any account, while Louis pursued her ! :lol: What a scene ! :lol: Coppola Jr should have shot this ! :lol: ).

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Wed Nov 08, 2006 7:43 pm
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Oh, dear Pimprenelle, I don't think Chalon portrays her as a saint at all, on the contrary, he is very honest about her flaws, and almost condescending about her follies. He recounts her religious observances during lent and in the chapel quoting from letters of Mercy and other first hand accounts, he does not appear to be inventing things. Desmond Seward recounts it, too, it is not just Chalon. It seems that after Sophie's death she began to pay more attention to such matters. This does not denote high sanctity, just basic Christian practice and devotion.

I agree that Antoinette was depressed by many things, and the king, too. So much death and terrible disappointments. It becomes clearer to me that they both increasingly found consolation in their faith.

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Wed Nov 08, 2006 7:56 pm
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